Hasbro was busy this past weekend.
Like, so busy, I have a hard time figuring out where to start. Transformers’ current Generations toyline, Power of the Primes, had an enormous amount of reveals; most of them were characters that we already knew about, but haven’t had a chance to see in the plastic, as it were.
Some of the most exciting news was that there would be a new all-female combiner team, with Elita-1 as the torso. Based on the Starscream mold, Elita has been re-tooled and redecoed and, honestly, wears the design better than Screamer.
Joining her will be Moonracer (who’s in stores now) and Nova Star, a red redeco of Moonstar. Who the other fembots will be wasn’t a part of any of the interviews I read, but hopefully they’ll be revealed before too long. After all, a combiner with only two limbs isn’t very effective. And what about that combined form? It’s called Elita Infin1te; yes, the “1” is intentional. I see what they were going for there, but it’s awkward no matter how you try to work it. Luckily, the figures themselves are fantastic, full of teals, purpley-pinks, and muted reds that are a refreshing change from the basic primaries so many Transformers… ahem… hue to.
With Hun-Gurrr as Elita-1’s casemate in the current shipment of Wave 2 Power of the Primes, it stands to reason the rest of the Terrorcons can’t be far behind. Rippersnapper is part of the current wave of Deluxe figures hitting the pegs and the rest of his team were revealed in combined and individual form over the weekend.
G1 accurate, but not slavishly so (some of the original Terrorcons weren’t much more than blocks with monster heads and limbs hanging off of them), the new combined form is a masterful update of one of the more visually engaging toys of the original G1 line.
Optimal Optimus/Optimus Primal
The big monkey-bot himself has finally been revealed! The winner of the 2017 Fan Poll, Optimus Primal will be a Power of the Primes leader figure with a deluxe-sized transformable bot that upgrades to his larger form (like Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime). Except… I didn’t see any pictures of an alt-mode for Optimus Primal and, looking at his bot mode, there doesn’t seem to be any room for a gorilla mode. Judging by the pics of the combined Optimal Optimus, the smaller bot’s backpack houses the head and chest plate or turns into the over-shoulder artillery pack, depending on the mode.
Speaking of, Optimal Optimus was displayed in ‘bot and resplendent orange and blue cyber monkey form, but there is a third “jet-mode” that wasn’t shown at Toy Fair. For all you Beast Wars purists, I’m sorry to report that the fabled “munkey truk” mode did not make it to the final model. Still, it was always the weakest of Op Op’s four modes and a small price to pay for getting an Optimus Primal that can actually upgrade into his larger form (though I really wish there was a Primal gorilla mode).
All Hail the (Preda)King
Much more satisfying on the “cybernetic animal” front is the combiner we’ve been waiting to get an update for since the Combiner Wars toyline. Predaking is back and he’s enormous.
Razorclaw (lion), Divebomb (eagle), Headstrong (rhino), Ramage (panther), and Torox (the bull, Tantrum, back in G1) are all Voyager-sized, as opposed to the “one Voyager, four Deluxe” toys that traditional combiner teams are made up of. The result is a combiner that towers a foot above all other combiner teams.
The combined form is everything I was hoping a modern rendition of Predaking would be (thought I do miss the spiked knuckles of the original). With a striking orange, black, and yellow color scheme and and a hulking weight to the sculpt, everything about the Predacons’ combined form screams “alpha hunter.”
The individual bots, I’m less sure about. Some, like Razorclaw and Headstrong, hew closely to that G1 aesthetic while improving on the original design. However, Divebomb in particular seems to have a severely lacking alt-mode, with a teeny eagle head stuck on a block with wings. It’s hard to tell from pictures, because black just doesn’t photograph well, but it could be an instance where G1 homage has gone too far. Also, the absolutely enormous combiner connectors hanging out on the backs of some of the team in bot mode seem to be a concession to size over aesthetics.
But unless you get two sets, those alt modes won’t make a bit of difference. Combined mode is where Predaking shines, and shine he will (I’m already giddy about the gold deco stickers Reprolabels is probably already cooking up for him).
War for Cybertron (no, not that one)
Predaking will be the cap on the Power of the Primes toy line. So what’s next for the Generations toys? Hasbro is finally moving away from the old G1 catalogs and heading back to Cybertron. The next new toy line, starting in 2019, will be War for Cybertron (no relation to the game of the same name) and will feature a host of new sculpts of Cybertronian, rather than Earth, origin. Hasbro will be working with IDW artists, who have cooked up some of the most exciting Transformers alt-modes out there (and also made Rewind a flat, featureless flying rectangle in alt-mode, but I digress). There wasn’t anything to show conceptually at Toy Fair, but there was mention that it would very much be its own storyline, apart from what Hasbro has done with Power of the Primes. Which could possibly be a result of…
Kill the Grand Poobah!
And, at the end of it all, there was one more conversation I caught wind of that every Transformers fan should know about. Talking to Hasbro reps about the giant Jabba’s Sail Barge, someone asked if there was a possibility to use the new HasLab crowdfunding platform for something equally impressive on the Transformers side. Namely, Unicron. The answer wasn’t a no, but a “get involved in HasLab, tell us what you want to see. We’re listening.” Add to that, the fact that Unicron is showing up in the IDW storylines this year (“devouring everything” according to Hasbro reps), there’s a better than average chance you could get the chance to crowdfund a brand new world-eater to tower over your collection. Just imagine… a four-foot-tall figure of (literally) the biggest villain in the Transformers universe? Please and thank you.